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Bahrain is gearing up for the Bahrain Jazz Fest on November 1, the latest in a series of efforts by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) to promote the kingdom as an events destination.
Festivals and such events, which are often supported by local businesses and governmental bodies, have increased Bahrain’s tourism footfall to 12 million, up by near 1.7 million from 2018.
The festival and its line-up, featuring local, regional and international talent, were announced at a press conference last week, with the organisers announcing an intention to up the ante and attract about 5,000 jazz enthusiasts.
Tourism advisor to the BTEA, Dr Ali Follad told the GulfWeekly: “We want companies to think big. This event, even though it’s quite young, puts Bahrain on the map. We are very happy to see it go international and attract big names. Just like Formula One and the underwater dive park attract a lot of attention and crowds, similarly, we would like to see the jazz festival become another iconic thing that Bahrain is known for.
“Jazz is a very respectable form of music and the BTEA looks forward to promoting and marketing the festival through our seven international offices in India, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Russia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
“We want to see more events like this, where players in the private sector come together to ideate a big concept and then make it a reality, supported, where needed, by the BTEA and other stakeholders, like Gulf Air.”
In addition to the big brand names, as the GulfWeekly reported previously, Bahrain has also been awarded the Best New Destination for Indian Weddings at this year’s WOW Awards, after successfully hosting numerous high-profile matrimonial events.
High-profile big ticket events are valued in growing tourism industries, since they have a multiplier or tide raising effect, which is what the EDB wants to see in the local industries.
Ali Murtaza, director of business development, tourism and leisure at the EDB, said: “As we have been working on developing a new strategy for the economic Vision 2030, we realised that there are certain opportunities in the sector that are promising. The events sector has always been strong and has seen significant growth in recent years, with more tourism coming in from the region and abroad. There is a strong investment opportunity and we anticipate it to give a strong boost to the economy.”
The BTEA aims to start promoting the next round of this festival soon after the festival, to build hype for the fourth iteration of the event, and hopes to make it a two-day affair.